Mind Candy

Think I Can Make It

Things are looking good. . .

Thunder road 018 

Finished the body.

Thunder road 016 

Had (another) fitting.

Now. . . all that remains is the collar (I have some modifications in mind; wish me luck), a good blocking, and the zipper.  If the collar works out, and the sweater dries fast, and the zipper goes in right the first time . . . I'll be GOLD.  If not?  Meh.  Not a big deal.

The funny thing about my Olympic knitting?  I've had to stop watching the Olympics while I knit!  I get too distracted.  I slow down and make errors and lose interest.  So, I've now joined "Team Karenina" -- and I spend my knitting time with Anna, Oblonsky, Kitty, Levin and the gang!

Thunder road 029 

Oh, and Jenny, of course!

Have a great weekend -- and remember. . .

Not late

This and That

I'd like to take this opportunity to officially welcome February!

Love birds 

Sure, it's still winter.  And cold.  And bleak.  But.  February is short.  I like hearts.  And chocolate.  And the Olympics will be entertaining.  And it's not January!


My backyard is really ugly right now.  It hasn't snowed much lately, so the snow that is on the ground is smashed down and icy.  I can see lots of dog poop and "yellow snow"; bits of bent over stems and mulch piles; dead flora.  It's just. . . not very inspiring at the moment, and I don't spend much time out there right now.  But yesterday, I found this little surprise:

Little patio icicles feb 4 10 001

These are tiny little icicles on the underside of my patio table.  They must have formed when snow was melting off the roof, and dripping down onto the table.

Little patio icicles feb 4 10 005 

It's fun to discover little treats in the winter!

Little patio icicles feb 4 10 008 


About this time in the season, I start to get the itch to garden again.  Once I put my garden "to bed" in the late fall, I tend not to give it much thought for several months.  Until about now.  Once those garden catalogs start arriving in the mail, I start turning my thoughts to growing things.  In the meantime, this has to suffice:

Blooms in winter 001 

Gotta love those winter blooms!


Did any of you knitters read the Editor's Letter in the latest issue of Vogue Knitting (Winter 2009) and just think. . . huh?  (It had to do with the decision by Vogue Knitting to only provide "up-sizing" on designs they deem appropriate for wear by larger women.)  You might like to check out this response to Vogue's letter by Diana at Otterwise.

I'm often really . . .stymied . . . by the editorial decisions at the print knitting magazines.  I mean, their readers are knitters, right?  Knitters who might want to knit the patterns in their magazines?  Knitters who might want to SEE the collar?  Or the back of the garment?  Or a close-up of the stitch pattern?  I am frequently frustrated by having to guess what the whole front of a sweater might look like. . . or, even more often, what the sweater might look like when not layered over 7 separate shirts with 2 belts and a couple of bags slung over the top of it.  I mean, really?  What are they thinking?

Thank goodness for Knitty -and the Twist Collective - featuring clear photographs from different views, and Ravelry -- with self-submitted photos showing designs knit from a variety of yarns and on a variety of body types and sizes.


I'm sure most of you have already seen this video -- as it's been making the rounds on the knit-blog circuit.  But I'm including it here -- just in case you haven't.  Priceless!


Next week. . . I'll have some knitting to report.  For now, you can take a guess about my latest project.

Loops 002

Have a wonderful weekend.  I don't know about you, but I'm a little excited about Ice Cream for Breakfast Day -- which is (apparently) celebrated on the first Saturday of February every year.  That's tomorrow.  So eat up!  As for me, I'll be doing double-duty on Saturday, running between Science Olympiad in the morning. . . and an away hockey game in the afternoon!  (I'll bet I can fit some ice cream in there somewhere!) 

Ice cream

It's Friday! Round'em Up!

Ahhh.  Friday at last. 

And the last Friday in January, at that!  Doesn't January just seem to . . . creep along?  So dark.  So cold.  So . . . long.  But it's almost February.  And all I can say is. . .

Candy 001 

Somebody - STOP ME!


If you (or your kids) are Facebook users, you really ought to take a look at this article from the NY Times.   There are 3 very simple (and very quick) steps you can take to adjust your Facebook settings to protect your privacy.  (It took me less than 3 minutes to follow the directions.)


I will miss Ping on Project Runway. . . but I think Amy was robbed last night!


And, as far as Mind Candy goes this week, well, this one is for my niece.  Hang in there, Jes!

Life comes back 


Have a wonderful weekend!

Another Friday RoundUp

I had fun with my Friday RoundUp last week, so I'm doing it again. . .

On the Needles

Not much knitting news this week.  I'm plugging away on my Psychic Heart Mittens.  One is done.  One is not.  Blocking is sorely needed.

Random stuff 012210 002 

I really don't like the yellow.  It looks like it will play so nicely with the other colors. . . just sitting there in the skein.  Once it gets out in the open, though.  Yikes!  So bright!  It screams at the other colors!  I also discovered that I'm not really liking the "Latvian" shape of the the top of the mitten (which you can't see in this photo) -- but it comes to a point.  I much prefer a rounded shape on my mittens.  These mittens will be. . . fine. . . when they're finished.  They need a good blocking, and they do look better on my hand than just laying there.  All in all, it's been good to get back into color work -- and I've learned some important color lessons.

Because these mittens are futzy (although the pattern is easy to memorize), I have a simple project going for tv-watching and phone-talking. 

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Yet another Noro-stripe-scarf (without the Noro).  Apparently, I will never tire of watching the colors change and blend together.  

I also took some time to sit back with a cup of tea and some new knitting magazines yesterday.  Knitting magazines seem to be totally hit or miss with me.  Either I hate every design, or I like a bunch of them.  I don't know why that is. . . but I rarely just like one design!  Yesterday, I was completely charmed by these---

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The top sweater is in knitsimple (Winter 09/10), and the bottom one is in Verena Knitting (Winter 2010).  This one, though, (also from Verena) is the one that's really calling to me ---

Random stuff 012210 004 

The collar, though???  What is it doing?  I really can't tell from the photo or the schematic in the directions.  I would need to see the collar before ever committing to making this!


In the Ears

Here's what I'm listening to right now.

Random stuff 012210 015 

I love Louise Erdrich's work.  I'm not sure how I missed reading this one when it first came out, but I did.  I'm listening now, though.  I'm listening while I do my household chores. . . while I walk the dog. . .  while I knit. . .while Brian tries to talk to me.  How did I manage before my favorite-of-all-combinations -- iPod and Audible -- came to be?


My Favorite Things

When I was a little girl, I loved The Sound of Music.  I knew every song by heart.  Although it wasn't my favorite song from the movie, I always liked the concept behind "My Favorite Things."  Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens. . . bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens. . . brown paper packages tied up with string. . .  What I always liked about the song was that the "favorite things" were such minor, little things.  I think, as an 8-year-old, I was totally taken with the notion that things didn't need to be "fancy" or "big" to be "favorite."  I've always found that comforting.

And, I'm always discovering my own "favorite things."  Simple little things that make me smile.  Things like . . .my new teapot!

Stump pot 001 

It's just the most perfect little teapot!  It's bright and cheerful, AND it brews two cups of tea -- with a little infuser insert (so it's really simple to use loose leaf tea).

Stump pot 003 

Definitely one of my new "favorite things!"


Make it Work!

I used to be a big Project Runway fan.  It was a perfect show for me --- I like fashion; I like to sew.  I was always impressed by the things the designers could produce from odd and limited materials over such a short, pressure-filled time period.  I thought it was completely fun.  Until last season, that is, which was a total snooze-fest.

Well.  So glad I decided to give it one more try and watch the new season.  Last night, the designers had to make their models "look good in a potato sack!"  They went from this. . .


To this. . .


So far, WAY more entertaining!


  And, Some Mind Candy

Ice cream

Have a great weekend -- full of ice cream or any other treats you may desire!


Friday RoundUp, January-Style

It's been a busy week. . . so I'm going to end it with a Friday RoundUp.

First up -- An Exciting Contest!

Minions 022

When I first started this blog, back at the end of May, it was part of my "healing plan."  My way of stepping away from The Edge.  I needed to give myself a voice; to seem "real" after the whole cancer thing.  I don't know what I really expected from it.  But, after 6 months of blogging, I can say that I've gotten a lot more out of this than I ever imagined.  I didn't think anyone would read it.  But you do.  I didn't think anyone would comment.  But you do.  I had no idea that I would meet such cool people through my blog.  But I do. And here's the most amazing thing.  As of right now, I've had 922 comments on my blog (plus one about do-it-yourself awnings -- but I deleted that one).  Amazing. 

So, here's the contest.  The person that makes the 1,000th comment on my blog will win a prize of their choosing!  Either. . . a somewhat-custom handmade (by me) Minion of their very own. . . or a cool skein of sock yarn from my stash.

So get commenting!  (You have no idea how much your comments mean to me!)


Next -- The Celebrating Continues!  

Brian and I thank you for your cheers of support about his hockey triumph.  He is still walking around on Cloud Nine.  I would hate to be their next opponent. . .  Anyway, I just want to show you how BIG this win was.  Here's the front page of last night's sports section in the Kalamazoo Gazette:

Friday roundup 003 

So cool!  It doesn't get much better than that!


Next - Those Damn Mittens

I trashed my first Psychic Heart mitten earlier this week.  The colors were just not working for me.  Not even a little.  (Tom thought they were fine, but he is color blind.)  Here they are, before their demise.

More mittens 002 

After thinking about them for a couple of days, I decided to dive back into the stash and see if I could come up with a better color combination.  I'm trying again. . . but the jury is still out.

More mittens 004 

What do you think?  (I'm actually knitting these "inside-out" on the needles - to manage the floats on the outside where I can see them.  I sort of like the inside better than the outside.  Maybe the pattern is just not doing it for me?)

More mittens 006 

Opinions welcome.  I'm going to finish this one. . . but EZ's mitered mittens are beginning to call.  Loudly.


Next -- January Thaw

It's been warming up a bit over the last few days.  Not WARM-warm, but over 32 degrees (Fahrenheit).  So we're in the January Thaw.  The "dirty-snow" part of winter.  Yuck.  My driveway pile:

Friday roundup 004 

My car:

Friday roundup 006 

I'd rather have new snow.  It's prettier.


Next -- The Knitter's Equivalent of the "Bat Signal" Has Been Activated


Haiti needs our support.  See the Yarn Harlot's blog (as if you haven't already) for details of how you can help.


And, Finally -- Some Mind Candy

Important decisions 

Yes, it's been That Kind of Week!  Enjoy the weekend!

Doors and Windows

Our senses are indeed our doors and windows on this world, in a very real sense the key to the unlocking of meaning and the wellspring of creativity.  -- Jean Houston

I've always had a little thing for doors and windows.  I like them.  I'm charmed by them.  I especially like to photograph them.  It's time to move back to Mind Candy Friday here on the blog, so today I'll be sharing some doors and windows of London.  I'm sure there's a metaphor (or two) in here somewhere!

London trip 327

I feel very adventurous.  There are so many doors to be opened, and I'm not afraid to look behind them.  -- Elizabeth Taylor

London trip 141e 

London trip 416

Begin challenging your own assumptions.  Your assumptions are your windows on the world.  Scrub them off once in a while, or the light won't come in.  -- Alan Alda

London trip 435e 

London trip 427

We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.  -- Walt Disney

London trip 349 

London trip 605

People are like stained glass windows.  They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is light from within.  -- Elisabeth Kubler Ross

London trip 518 

London trip 387 

All the windows of my heart I open to the day.  -- John Greenleaf Whittier

London trip 301 

London trip 352

Big doors swing on little hinges.  -- W. Clement Stone

London trip 028 

Follow your bliss and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.  -- Joseph Campbell


Memorial. . .

Grandma 95th

Many of you may remember our family celebration for my Grandmother's 100th birthday last summer.  Well, my Grandmother passed away last Sunday, as my sister and I were flying back from London.  Her funeral is today.  My Grandmother lived a long, full life, and she was healthy and active right up until the end.  (Apparently she even told her nurses that. . . "You aren't the boss of me!!!")  My Grandmother was not a warm-and-cuddly kind of Grandmother; she was a hard woman to love.  But she lived her life on her own terms, and was a little fireball right through to the end.  Goodbye, Grandma.  Rest in peace!